Cache generated code to assembly for quick re-load
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Cache generated code to assembly for quick re-load

GeneratedCodeAssembly is a class to facilitate code generation while also caching it to an assembly for re-loading later to avoid re-generation.


	var assemblyName = Guid.NewGuid().ToString("N");

	var generatedCodeAssembly = new GeneratedCodeAssembly(builder=>
					.WithInstruction(new UnaryInstruction(OpCodes.Newobj, typeof(Customer)
					.WithInstruction(new NullaryInstruction(OpCodes.Stloc_0))
					.WithInstruction(new NullaryInstruction(OpCodes.Ldloc_0))
					.WithInstruction(new NullaryInstruction(OpCodes.Ret))
	var activator = generatedCodeAssembly.CreateInstance<IActivator>("PRI.Activators.TestClassActivator");
	var testClass = activator.Create<Customer>();

In this example, GeneratedCodeAssembly is instantiated and the type builder is configured via a fluent interface to create a class that implements the interface IActivator and the IActivator.Create<T> method. It then goes on to implment that method to create and return an new instances of Customer.

This example makes use of an IActivator interface as follows:

	public interface IActivator
		T Create<T>();

The fluent code builder is very powerful, but does not support all the features of Reflection.Emit yet.

Eventually I'll document the builder more thoroughly but in the meantime, some notes:

  • If you do not provide assembly info (company name, product name, version, and description) via WithAssemblyInfo assembly info, the info from the currently executing assembly will be used.

Caveats/possible future features

GeneratedCodeAssembly does not update an assembly, it only creates new assemblies. This is partially due to the fact that when you generate code you're likely going to try to run it right away, which makes the generated assembly in-use and unable to be updated.

The builder needs to be expanded to support more Reflection.Emit features.

Assembly verification is not performed and the IL that is generated is up to you; so you could easily create an unverifable/unsafe assembly. Any grave syntax errors will cause the assembly not to be generated and some cryptic Reflection.Emit exceptions will be raised.

It is up to you to track the filename and version of the assembly, GeneratedCodeAssembly just checks for existance--it's not smart enough to know that the assembly may contain out-of-date code. You can version the assembly (automaticly from the executing assembly; so if you auto-increment that, then generated assembly version will be copied) you'll be able to compare version info.

Code coverage is about 96% and will be expanded in some obvious areas.